I've been trying to troubleshoot why my brand new system is slow to read/write data, and why it seems laggy in general.
On the performance monitor, I frequently see svchost.exe having hard faults of 1000+ per minute. A few minutes ago, I was installing a windows update and the ekrn.exe process had like 3000 hard faults per minute.
How many hard faults/min are too many?
core 2 duo E8400 3.0ghz, ~22 degrees celsius
g.skill ddr2 1066 1gb x4
2x hitachi 320gb 7200rpm sata in RAID0
coolmax 700W power supply
evga gtx 260
vista ultimate x64 SP1
No seriously, my machine flies with XP pro SP3. Boots up faster. Installs apps waaaaay faster. No freezes (except for the Fallout 3 updater but that happened under vista too). Load times in games are lightning fast.
But more importantly, my CPU usage is 0-2% when idle, compared to 15-20% under vista. I have 4 gigs of ram, xp recognizes 3.2 gigs of it, and 2.9 gigs is free. So that means 9% of my physical ram is being used, compared to 45-55% under vista. No hardfaults that I have noticed.
As I understand it, vista is constantly swapping data from physical ram to the pagefile to "improve access time" for frequently used programs. While this sounds good in theory, what it actually does is increase overhead on the system and slow read/write operations to the disk way down. At least, that's the only explanation I have for why my brand new rig was slow as crap under vista.